Cape Town - Pupils and teachers at Groenvlei Secondary School were overjoyed on Wednesday when the MEC for Education, Donald Grant, pledged to help the school raise funds to build a school hall.
The school has never had a hall in all its 31 years of existence. Grant told pupils and teachers during a visit to the school that despite his department facing a maintenance backlog of R6 billion and the need to build 35 schools in the province, he would do what was necessary to get businesses in the area involved in raising funds.
"I'm happy to fundraise and go into the community and talk about the school," said Grant.
He said it was important that educators and teachers not only worked hard, but also "smart" and that parents supported learners where necessary.
A Grade 12 pupil from the school, Darryn Abrahams, said the MEC's announcement had inspired him because when he graduated there would be a hall for other learners to use.
Teachers said despite their challenges, such as high teacher-pupil ratios, in some cases up to 59 learners in one class, and having to spend a lot of time attending to the personal problems of learners, they had been able to achieve a 79 percent pass rate.
Tony Adamson, the school's senior deputy principal said the school had been able to achieve a higher pass rate than two other schools in the area by offering after-school classes and a holiday programme for learners.
"We will never give up, we will do our best to ensure that with all the challenges, they (pupils) receive what they deserve," said Adamson.
Groenvlei Principal Walter Adonis said it was important for teachers to remember that "teaching is a calling and not a job".
He said despite social problems such as gangsterism and lack of home support that pupils faced, teachers would continue to strive to inculcate values such as "responsibility, respect, integrity and trustworthiness".